Tough negotiations to avoid collision

In view of the political meeting on Thursday and the national council this weekend, backstage fermentations in PASOK have intensified, in order to find a compromising solution to the leadership problem. The fear that if the climate of conflict moves into the base not only will completely dissolve the party, but will also slur it in the public
eye, makes everyone in the leadership seeking an agreement that at least will ensure a smooth transition to the upcoming national elections.

Top executives of the party, even dauphins, would not deny the stay of George Papandreou as president and the election of the PM candidate by the parliamentary group or by another party organ, to avoid the emergence of an image of a paralyzing diarchy and division, that would weaken the new leader in the fight against Antonis Samaras. 

The main challenge is the precise role of Papandreou. The uncompromising position, at least of Venizelos’ side, is the PM candidate to represent the PASOK meetings with political leaders and prime minister Lucas Papademos. In this aspect, Papandreou’s side seems reluctant to such a development, considering that the current president will become a "decorative" figure. It is still uncertain if the curious and incomprehensible insistence of Papandreou’s environment is to ensure other consideration for Papandreou's "safe" exit from leadership, or whether it is being
placed as a prerequisite to open up any processes of succession.

In this climate, some leadership candidates keep a low profile because they see not only strong resistance from Papandreou’s block, but also extremely difficult conditions for PASOK in the coming national elections. Thus, the prospect of a painful defeat begins to trouble but also to deter ambitions in this phase.

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